October 31, 2014

House set to vote on Farm Bill

In Washington, Congress appears headed towards irreconcilable differences between two Farm Bills. The House is set to vote on a bill that contains only farm subsidy provisions, and not the nutrition or “food stamp” language that’s long been included. Wisconsin Democrat Ron Kind, of La Crosse, isn’t sure what the GOP end game is.

“I’m not even quite sure if they’re going to have the votes on their side to do what they’re trying to do, but it’s going to make reconciling what the Senate Farm Bill does virtually impossible,” said Kind.

“The last thing farmers need to contend with is a dysfunctional Congress playing political games with their livelihood,” Kind said. “Our farmers need a new five year Farm Bill. They need to know what to expect so they can prepare for it.”

Kind said Republicans have issued assurances that a separate bill on nutrition programs will be voted on later this month. The House failed to pass a Farm Bill last month largely because conservatives in the Republican caucus wanted bigger cuts to those nutritional assistance programs.

“There’s an ideological strain that hates the nutrition title,” Kind said. “They want to just get rid of it entirely.”